“Asbestos Analysis By Electron Microscopy”

1974:145: Millette

Proceedings AWWA Water Quality Conference, XIV-I


About 2 years ago, the State of Vermont requested assistance in the analysis of some water samples for asbestos. At that time, an attempt was made to apply the NIOSH1 procedure for determining airborne asbestos in a factory environment to determining asbestos in water. About 75 water samples were analyzed for the State of Vermont by this optical procedure and, as reported by Sargent,2 significant numbers of what appeared to be asbestos fibers were found in about 10 or 12 of these samples. Later, these were looked at by microscopical dispersion staining,3 and it was concluded that probably none of those seen were asbestos. As subsequently established by electron microscopy, many of these fibers turned out to be diatom fragments, mold mycelium, or other crystalline materials. The rest of this paper deals primarily with the electron microscopic procedure presently being used to analyze asbestos in water.

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